MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The family of an 11-year-old Kentucky girl struck and killed as she crossed the street said store surveillance videotape is additional evidence of a botched investigation.
In July, Rutherford County Sheriff's Office detective Sgt. Ron Killings was driving an unmarked car when he hit Lakeisha as she crossed Bradyville Pike. It happened before 9 p.m. He was placed on administrative leave during the Murfreesboro Police Department's investigation.
Lakeisha's family said video taken in a Mapco shows Killings buying a Gatorade nutrition supplement drink within a half hour after the crash. Her relatives said it points to a cover up.
"We just want justice served," said a relative. "We just want all the truth to come out."
About a half hour after the crash, Killings walked in and purchased the drink from the back of the store. When the cashier rings it up, a receipt is shown, showing that Killings bought a fruit punch drink.
Although Tennessee Bureau of Investigation blood alcohol tests came out negative, Lakeisha's family believes two liquor bottles they saw discarded by Killings on the scene played a factor in the crash. They also believe the drink purchased minutes after the crash was an attempt to disguise that.
"It takes about an hour to get rid of one drink equivalent," said Dr. Richard Garman of Nashville Medical Group.
He isn't familiar with the specifics on the case, but is very familiar with the science behind blood alcohol tests.
He said there are several factors to consider such as size and how quickly alcohol is consumed, but the Gatorade sports drink can have an effect on the body.
"Any time you consume alcohol with other liquids or other food products, you may delay absorption somewhat or dilute it out, but then again, if you've got the alcohol in there, it really doesn't matter if you drink extra water and stuff, you still got to clear that alcohol one drink equivalent per hour," he said.
It's that time that concerns the girl's family.
Murfreesboro police stand behind the decision to test Killings two and a half hours after the crash, saying there was a lot to process on the scene.
However, Lakeisha's family points to sliding glass doors visible in the video. A Murfreesboro police officer is seen pacing outside. They said that's proof police were not in a hurry to take Killings to the hospital for the blood test.
"I think it was rigged up," said a relative. "That's my honest opinion."
If it was one of us, we would have went straight to the hospital and been blood tested," said Rose Collier, Lakeisha's grandmother.
Murfreesboro police said alcohol was not a factor in the crash and TBI tests came out negative. The Rutherford County sheriff said in the past the videotape and the bottles found at the scene are not relevant. He said he stands behind Killings who has returned to work.
The Rutherford County district attorney watched the video with the family last week. Since then, he recused himself from case. A special prosecutor will be appointed. The family has also requested the Tennessee Highway Patrol take over the investigation.